Even though the one purpose of the refrigerator is to keep your food safe – by chilling it enough to slow bacterial growth and rot – it actually poses some risks to your health! When you think about it, it makes sense: it’s one of the few places you go in and out of multiple times per day. When you do, you’re typically moving around food, in the middle of cooking (hello, yucky hands!), or putting away new packages (which have picked up who-knows-what along their way).
While there are a few spots you would probably guess are gross and germy (like the door handles), the worst spot is pretty surprising.
The dirtiest spot is actually your vegetable drawer! This may come as a surprise, because veggies seem sort of innocent. Yes, you’re supposed to wash them, but they aren’t as obvious a risk as chicken or other raw meats. But in a series of tests, experts have found germs like Salmonella and Listeria, as well as yeast and old, in the veggie drawer. The problem isn’t veggies themselves but that they become cross-contaminated with other items, including meat juices, in your shopping cart, grocery bag, and other food handling. Most of us are very safe when it comes to handling meat, but we just don’t think about it the same way.
How to Fix It
What’s the fix? Start using Nellie’s Fruit & Veggie Wash to clean your produce as soon as it’s home from the grocery store or farmer’s market. It leaves no taste behind, but cleans all pesticides, contaminants, and preservatives. Plus, it’s gluten free, vegan, and biodegradable so it’s safe for you and the planet. Next, take out the veggies and wash the drawer in the sink with your favourite One Soap and some hot water. Either let it air-dry on your counter or pat dry with paper towels before replacing it in the fridge. Easy peasy!